When my boys were toddlers I used to love watching them create. I bought gallons of non-toxic paints, truckloads of paper of various types, and brushes of every size and description. But it was my neighbor, Nanny Jean, who taught me about colored rice art for little kids. She’d used this when her kids were little ones and my boys loved it! Since the grand kids are coming very soon I thought I’d whip up some colored rice for them to create their own works of art. I think even the 14 year old may enjoy this method of artistic expression!
I admit it took some digging around in boxes in the basement to find Nanny’s instructions for making the colored rice, it’s been over 25 years, but I finally found it! It’s as easy as I remembered
Here’s how you can make your own colored rice for art for your little ones.
Put a cup of rice in a sealable plastic baggie (one cup of rice in a separate baggie for each color you want to make).
Add three tablespoons of white vinegar to each bag of rice.
Add drops of food coloring to each bag until you get the desired shade. I start with about 9 drops.
Seal the baggie tightly and roll the rice around inside the bags so each grain gets coated with the food coloring. You’ll have to really mush it around but be sure not to be too vigorous so the baggie doesn’t tear or open up.
Once the color is mixed well let the bag sit for several minutes then turn it over so the liquid redistributes and the color spreads evenly.
Let the rice stand in the bags for about 20 minutes then pour on baking sheets to dry overnight. You can also use individual trays (the cardboard kind French fries are served in some restaurants) or bowls to dry overnight.
Cut pieces of heavy duty cardboard to use as canvasses. This holds up better than paper when little ones are creating.
When you’re ready to let the kids begin making art just give them some non-toxic white glue, the colored rice, and cardboard and let them have at it!
I always helped with the glue a little when the boys were really tiny and I imagine I’ll be inclined to do so with my 2 1/2 year old grandson but I may just let him go wild! After all, art is very personal!